How an Administrator may monitor Google Workspace storage

Routine review of Workspace storage not only helps an administrator identify major changes in individual and shared drive usage, but also ensures that accounts stay under storage limits.

A Google Workspace admin page on a computer.
Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

A Google Workspace administrator has at least two important reasons to track Workspace storage usage: to monitor usage against storage limits and to identify major usage changes. Workspace administrators may particularly want to monitor usage if the organization has a subscription such as Google Workspace Business Starter, which limits storage space to 30 GB per user.

While 30 GB may be sufficient for many purposes, it is significantly less than the total storage of 2 TB per user, 5 TB per user or the virtually unlimited storage available on other subscriptions. The total usage includes not only Drive storage, but also email and photo storage.

Periodic storage monitoring can also alert an administrator to changes in individual or shared drive usage. For example, a sudden increase in storage usage could be due to accidental deletion of data, while a significant drop could signal a massive transfer of video files. Both changes may merit further investigation and discussion.

These kinds of changes in storage usage remain an issue even when storage limits themselves are not a limitation, such as on Workspace Enterprise plans, which offer as much storage as your organization needs.

SEE: Hiring Kit: Cloud Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

How to review Google Workspace storage

To review and manage storage space, a Google Workspace administrator with appropriate permissions will log in to the admin console and then select Storage – either from the menu on the left or in the Storage box on the main dashboard.

In the management console, the Storage section shows the total used storage with an overview of data stored on specific services, such as Google Drive, Gmail and Photos, as shown in Figure A. Two subpanels show the largest consumption of storage space. One is sorted by user accounts and the other by shared drives. This helps you identify specific individuals and teams that use significant storage space.

Figure A

The storage section of the management console highlights the total used storage space.  In addition, the system shows both users and shared drives that use the most storage space.
The storage section of the management console highlights the total used storage space. In addition, the system shows both users and shared drives that use the most storage space.

I suggest an administrator review this information monthly. This routine check can help identify major changes in time before accidentally deleted data can be easily recovered, as most Google services store data moved to the Recycle Bin for 30 days.

How to set storage limits for Google Workspace

Select Manage, as shown by the arrow in Figure A, if you want to configure storage limits for your organization. You can manage limits for each organizational unit separately. For example, you might prefer not to set any limits for full-time employees, but choose to configure storage limits for an organizational unit configured with all part-time or temporary employees. Similarly, a school administrator may choose to set different limits for teachers, staff, or students.

First, make sure you have selected the desired organizational unit, as in Figure Bwhere the column with Users, Groups and Organizational Units is displayed.

Figure B

A Google Workspace administrator can choose to set a storage limit for an organizational unit either for individual accounts or shared drives.
A Google Workspace administrator can choose to set a storage limit for an organizational unit either for individual accounts or shared drives.

Next, you can enable restrictions either for users or shared drives. The user storage limit allows you to ensure that no individual user in the selected organizational unit can exceed a specified amount of storage space. Remember, the limit is the total data stored across an account’s Google Drive, Gmail, Photos, and other Workspace-associated apps.

Alternatively, you can choose to limit the size of data stored on shared drives for the selected organizational unit. A limit on the size of shared drives can be useful to ensure that teams do not use shared drives for significant amounts of data. In some cases, this can be of particular concern to organizations that rely on shared drives for external collaboration.

What is your experience with Workspace storage?

If you’re a Google Workspace admin, how often do you review storage usage for your organization? Have you chosen to configure storage limits for any part of your organization – either for sets of users or shared drives? How often do you contact individual users or shared drive administrators to discuss significant storage changes identified as a result of routine storage reviews? Mention or message me at Mastodon (@awolber) to let me know how you monitor and manage Google Workspace storage for your organization.

William

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *